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God Moved the Rock, but Hope Changed the World
#Emerge Week One
Pastor Kris Freeman
Sunday, April 1, 2018
Scripture: Luke 24:1-12 (NLT)
24 But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 3 So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes.
These women were not looking for a man who was ALIVE but rather a body that was dead.
All my life, images of Easter have conjured death:
– The cross
– The tomb
– The crown of thorns
– The body of Jesus
– The crucifix (a Catholic symbol/necklace)
While the death of Jesus was the beginning of the Easter story, the RESURRECTION is truly the hope of what Easter is all about.
5 The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”
How would you feel if a man you had only known for a short time, told you he was going to do things that seemed IMPOSSIBLE?
Three unbelievable things about what Jesus told them:
- No one gives themselves voluntarily over to death
- No one raises from the dead
- No one had ever possessed the deity or power to claim such things!
So let’s be honest – did they believe him? Or was there serious DOUBT?
8 Then they remembered that he had said this. 9 So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened. 11 But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it. 12 However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.
Process what happens in your mind when you have an EXPECTATION and then it doesn’t come to pass. Disappointment? Resentment? Fear? Anger? Depression? Letdown? Skepticism?
The story of Easter is one of CRUSHED EXPECTATIONS behind the rock of a borrowed tomb.
BUT THEN…God moved the rock.
And suddenly, there is a wave of CHANGE that EMERGES inside of us.
- Wait, he was right!
- Wait, I remember what he said!
- Wait, he is ALIVE!!!
HOPE changes everything.
This Easter, you have been commissioned to tell the world about the story of hope. The story of grace. The story of a Savior who died and rose again, and predicted he would do it.
Still, two thousand years later, there is no story of hope that MATCHES it.
Over the next four weeks, I want you to return just as the disciples returned to Galilee, and we see four stories of hopeless circumstances when God’s plan EMERGED right before their eyes.
There is hope for you too, and if there’s a big rock holding back your story, let God move it!